Top 10 tips for meteor-watchers

How to watch a meteor shower. Tips for beginners.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard completed its 7th launch and landing this week

Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket successfully launched an uncrewed test flight on October 13, with both its capsule and booster later executing a flawless landing.

The James Webb Space Telescope displays its large and striking yellow sunshield with foldable structures surrounding it.

James Webb Space Telescope passes environmental testing

The James Webb Space Telescope – successor to the Hubble – just passed a series of environmental testing trials, designed to simulate the rigors of its anticipated launch in 2021.

How to see anticrepuscular rays

Next time you see crepuscular rays – sunrays – at sunrise or sunset, turn around.

SpaceX launched 60 more Starlink satellites this week

After 2 weeks of scrubs, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket blasted off October 6, 2020, carrying 60 more Starlink satellites to orbit. The rocket successfully landed at sea 9 minutes later. Video of the launch and landing here, plus steps taken to reduce the bright satellites’ effect on astronomy.

A close-up image of the sun with a large flare on one portion.

A new method for predicting large solar flares

Solar storms pose risks for society, but more accurate space weather forecasts appear to be coming soon. A team of researchers in Japan has developed a physics-based method for predicting large solar flares, including powerful and potentially dangerous X-flares.

What’s the birthstone for October?

If you were born in October, your birth month has 2 birthstones: opal and tourmaline.

Which insects have the worst stings?

Some of the most painful stings come from tarantula hawk wasps, warrior wasps, and bullet ants.

Coronavirus mutations: what we’ve learned so far

Geneticists around the world are studying 100,000 coronavirus genomes – sampled from Covid-19 patients in over 100 countries – to try to understand how the virus is mutating, What science has learned.

ISS with spaceships docked.

Astronauts shelter as ISS boosted to avoid orbital debris

The International Space Station underwent an unscheduled reboost in orbit yesterday, to avoid a collision with an unknown piece of space junk. The 3-man crew was ordered to shelter, but is safe.

A Chinese perspective on autumn

In Chinese thought, autumn is with the direction west, considered to be the direction of dreams and visions.

What is a hurricane storm surge?

Of all the hazards that hurricanes bring, storm surge is the greatest threat to life and property along the coast.

Advice from an astronaut

For anyone who wants to grow up and be an astronaut …. here’s a lovely video with advice from ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano.

What’s in wildfire smoke and why it’s so bad for your lungs

The health impact of wildfire exposure depends in part on the fire itself and how much smoke a person breathes in, how often and for how long.

Illustration of Perseverance rover in space on Seotember 12, 2020.

Follow the Perseverance rover in real time on its way to Mars

Keep track of where NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance is on its journey through space toward its February 18, 2021, landing on Mars. This web app shows you where spacecraft is right now.

‘Apocalyptic’ skies across U.S. West this week

Video and images of the weirdly orange skies across the U.S. West this week, created by massive wildfires that incinerated several communities in Oregon in the past 2 days and blotted out the sun in San Francisco.

A daytime rocket launch.

The launch and landing of China’s reusable spacecraft

Although few details are known, and no images have been released, the Chinese did apparently launch a reusable spacecraft on September 4, 2020. It appears to have deployed a satellite to orbit and then returned to Earth safely 2 days later.

Artwork showing Earth from space, the Gaia spacecraft, and a radio telescope listening for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.

A breakthrough in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence

The researchers called their new analytical technique “a milestone in SETI.” One researcher commented: “We now know that fewer than one in 1,600 stars closer than about 330 light years host transmitters just a few times more powerful than the strongest radar we have here on Earth.”

Astronomers issue report on the effect of ‘satellite constellations’ on astronomy

A new report concludes that large constellations of bright satellites in low-Earth orbit will fundamentally change ground-based astronomy and impact the appearance of the night sky for stargazers worldwide.

NASA’s guide to near light speed space travel

Take a couple of minutes and have a little fun with this new video from NASA